Stam was brought up on a farm in rural Ontario, Canada. She lived in a Victorian house, had a cow named Bessie and a collie named Lassie, and was the only girl amid six strapping brothers. That's before a modeling scout discovered her in 2002, when she was 15, sipping hot chocolate at a doughnut shop. Now, she mused Steven Meisel, and her face, with its huge eyes and small pointy chin, become the defining look of the aughts. She lives super stylishly and jet about life. But there's a hint of the country girl craving to be synthesized, other than a scrubbed, a fresh quality beneath her rock ’n’ roll cool...
So, she bought the bright, polished one-bed two-bath; drawn to its location, a few blocks from New York City’s Union Square, and the fact that it “wasn’t cookie-cutter.” In a converted factory building, it had prewar proportions (high ceilings, huge windows), but it also had the spa steam shower and designer kitchen!
She removed some of the wallpaper in favor of muted gray paint. She kept bits of the satin and Lucite, but added more tailored elements— a plump little ’40s chair was reupholstered in black-and-white tweed from the same factory that produced Chanel’s fabrics; the pink satin headboard in gray leather; chrome and crystal lamps replaced ornate white ceramic.
Although she says she’s not at all into “granny,” it’s hard not to notice that her favorite new sheets are edged in cotton embroidery and that there’s a shabby rustic wooden chair tucked in a corner; a thrift-store painting of a bird (that she asked not be photographed because it didn’t quite go) in the guest bathroom; and many, many photos of her family, who still live in Ontario. Well, when your past includes snowmobiles, a tree house built by Dad, and 500 acres, but you just walked nine runways in Paris, which is now your favorite city, it’s rare to find yourself at home.